Eight die in Immigration recruitment exercise From Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin), Gordi Udeajah (Umuahia), Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) and Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, (Benin City) EIGHT applicants into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in Kwara, Enugu and Abia states commands were feared dead at the weekend while going through the recruitment exercises. Over 15 others were also injured in the Kwara exercise dominated by a marathon race, which started at Ilorin Grammar School, through Lagos Road, Taiwo Road, ending at the stadium complex. One of the two female dead applicants in Abia was reportedly pregnant. They met their demise in a stampede at the Umuahia Township Stadium's gate at the end of a 15-minute run in the state capital. Besides the dead, many participants fainted or were injured and taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia for medical attention. The remains of the deceased were also deposited at the FMC. Sources told The Guardian that one of the Ilorin victims allegedly died of exhaustion while the other one was knocked down by a commercial motor-cyclist The spokesmen for the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Alhaji Oba Hassan Kadiri, confirmed that some patients believed to be those seeking for enlistment into the service were rushed to Accident and Emergency wing of the hospital for treatment. Comptroller of the NIS in the Kwara State, Mr. James Aboyeji, could not confirm the casualty figures, noting however that health specialists from the UITH were "engaged to handle the medical section of the recruitment exercise and they alone could speak on it." Meanwhile, Enugu State Governor, Sulivan Chime and the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) have condemned the four deaths also recorded during the NIS recruitment exercise in the state at the weekend. Chime, who visited the 20 surviving victims of the stampede tragedy being treated at the Park Lane Hospital, promised that his government would foot their hospital bills and give them automatic employment. Reacting to the death of the four applicants in Enugu, IYM President, Elliot Uko, said: "This incident is an indictment of Igbo leaders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who for nine years could not do anything to improve the welfare of the people. The PDP dominated the South-East without anything to show for it. Rather, what the Igbo leaders did was to grab power and use it to loot the resources of their states to the detriments of the masses. The result is that the South-East today has the largest number of unemployed youths in Nigeria and this is a shame to our leaders." And in Edo State, thousands of applicants for the Nigerian Prisons employment examination in Benin City, at the weekend, protested alleged exclusion from the test and accused Prison officials of preventing them from writing the test in favour of their wards and cronies. However, the NIS' test in the state went smoothly, although over 15 persons fainted on the road in the course of the endurance race and they were authomatically disqualified. Others barely managed to get to the venue before they passed out. According to the Edo State NIS Comptroller, Mr. Henry Malgwi, the exercise was transparent. The protesting applicants told reporters that they were made to run a distance of three kilometres to the examination centre but they were surprised to meet a locked gate when they got to Air Force Primary School, venue of the test, where they also discovered that some persons were already writing the test. An official allegedly told them that the examination had been postponed to next week. Efforts to get the reaction of spokesperson of the Prisons command, Mrs. Theresa Idiake, were unsuccessful. According to the protesting candidates, they also met other group of applicants already writing the examination when they went back to the state headquarters of the prisons to complain about their experience at the venue of the test. They alleged that some Prisons officials used their private vehicles to ferry their candidates to the venue of the test while the majority of the candidates were tricked into scrambling for a truck used to take them to Benin Club, where the run was to start. Over 10,000 applicants were at the Edo Prisons headquarters for the test. Comptroller of Prisons in the state, Abubakar Falke, said 5,000 persons were able to pass the first screening stage, which qualified them to be tested on their height, before the endurance race and then the examination. Link Only in Nigeria!